Irkut Introduces MS-21 as Alternative to Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX

Dubai Air Show » 2011
November 14, 2011, 10:42 AM

Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut announced here yesterday that its MS-21 family of short- and medium-range twin-engine passenger jets (MS-21-200, -300 and -400) has now recorded orders for 235 airplanes. Among the customers are Russia-based Aeroflot, Ilyushin Finance and Rostechknologii, as well as Malaysia’s Crecom. Kirill Budaev, Irkut vice president, sales and marketing, said the aircraft is on schedule for its maiden flight in 2014, with European certification and first customer deliveries expected in 2017.

The MS-21 will compete with the new Airbus A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX, both using next-generation engines on their legacy airframes, but Irkut says its clean-sheet design will offer superior economy in purchase and operating costs over both aircraft. “A clean-sheet design is [what is needed] for competitiveness,” Budaev said. “You’re not able to achieve that where you just improve a program that is 50 years old.”

The Russian twinjet will feature composite wings and empennage and an aluminum fuselage. The fuselage is 25 percent wider than that of a 737 and 11 percent wider than an A320, and will still be lighter than either aircraft. The question most often asked about the design, Budaev said, is why the MC-21 doesn’t have winglets, given the design’s emphasis on efficiency. The high-aspect-ratio composite wings obviate the need for them, he said, the same reason the composite Boeing 787 has no winglets.

The second most frequently asked question, he said, was: given that Russia’s renown for aerodynamic engineering is not matched by a reputation for production quality and customer support, what is Irkut doing to address potential manufacturing and aftermarket support concerns? Budaev said the company is seeking international partners to assist in those areas.

The MS-21 series will have two engine options: the Russian PD-14, being developed by Aviadvigatel, and the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G, the same engine family that will power Bombardier’s CSeries.

In the cabin, the aisle width has been optimized to enable faster embarking and disembarking, reducing turn times and increasing flight time up to 142 hours annually on the -200 models. Larger cabin bins will take bigger carry-on luggage, reducing the need for passengers to check baggage and thereby reducing their travel time.

The cockpit will feature sidestick controls and an avionics suite with optional head-up display. Budaev also said the next-generation flight system would reduce pilot workload and be capable of supporting single-pilot operations, should they be approved in the future. The hold, with more space for revenue-generating cargo, is designed for easy loading and unloading.

The MS-21-200, with a 150-passenger capacity, is priced at $69 million, and the MC-21-300, with a 180-passenger capacity is priced at $78 million.

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salaam khan
on November 14, 2011 - 11:36am

I hope it is built and not just talk, and a lot of time wasting.It seems the Russian aero industry is very slow and behind.It needs pioneers and local airlines to support it.It also needs to produce what it says on paper.Not have so much delays due to bad, engineers or suppliers.Check dates and make sure they are produced as needed and on spec, not 2nd grade goods.Otherwise it will not sell ,as we have seen.Also why has it not delivered any 204 aircraft's to Iran.It should always consider ,how to meet needs and sanctions.They are very slow to do this.Why ,it needs to have business minded people run companies not friends of Kremlin.Other wise aero industry will be a big albatross.Some waste of time.Reading news on Russian aviation, products.

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manas chakarphat
on December 22, 2011 - 10:17pm

Russian will innovate MC21 aircraft family begin with 100, 200,300 ,400 and
future 500 ( 320 seats ) series, hoping Russian should produce promptly due
Oriental Asia and Asean require such aircrafts before 2020 with estimation
of 5000 aircrafts and MC aircrafts quality is equally to Airbus / Boeing.

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Andile Apleni
on February 13, 2013 - 5:20am

Great innovation and aircraft

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